Big News…not from the SCOTUS or the POTUS, but from…US!

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Got home from church on Wednesday night and found a package from Harvest House Publishers. Our book! The devotional that my son Jake and I wrote together is officially off the presses. Yippee!!!

UnknownHere’s the back:IMG_3018W

We had such a wonderful time working together on FIRST AND GOAL. I’m very proud of Jake and thankful to Kim Moore, our editor at Harvest House, who believed in this project when I pitched it to her at a writer’s conference.

img_1002First and Goal’s official release date is August 1st – when you can find it in most all book marketplaces, online and in retail stores. But right now it IS available for preorder on Amazon.

If you’ve followed Jake’s story on my blog, you’ll appreciate his inspiration in this book and all that’s he has overcome.

If you haven’t followed his story, you may enjoy some of my posts over the past couple of years about his journey into the NFL. Click the Jake Byrne link on the left column of this blog to read more.

CLICK HERE TO AMAZON TO PREORDER FIRST AND GOAL – WHAT FOOTBALL TAUGHT ME ABOUT NEVER GIVING UP!

Tsunami 2004 Book for Free!

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For a short time, I’m offering a FREE Kindle eBook: Tsunami 2004 – Still Wading Through Waves of Hope to those who sign up for my Author Newsletter – occasional brief news about new releases and sales.

Click Here to sign up http://eepurl.com/5vTLP

(The woman to my right is the girl on the cover. Her "then and now" story is one of many in the book.)

(The woman to my right is the girl on the cover. Her “then and now” story is one of many in the book.)

Here’s an excerpt from Tsunami 2004 – Still Wading Through Waves of Hope

Chapter 1
Send Us

January 2005, just after tsunami

Send us to the most devastated, remote villages where no one else has gone.”

My husband’s zeal was admirable, but concern reared its head in me. I glanced at Vicky, our parish member who volunteered to join us on the mission. She leaned forward in her seat, eyes bright with anticipation.

Brave soul, even the lizard on the wall didn’t faze her. But this was her first trip to India. Lizards would be the least of our difficulties.

Chennai’s sea breeze wafted through Father Michael Vyakulam’s open office window at St. Bede’s Orphanage and School. My husband (Anglican priest) and Father Vyakulam (Roman Catholic priest) faced each other from across a desk.

Nearly three decades ago, the elder led a vocations camp for boys interested in Holy Orders. He recommended Leo Michael, a zealous thirteen-year-old, for the junior seminary. The two clerics remained dear friends, regardless of their divergent paths.

Father Vyakulam glanced heavenward. Was he consulting God in some silent prayer for wisdom or asking forgiveness for where he was about to send us?

I breathed in the tangy air and hushed my fears. God wouldn’t let us down. He’d guided us from the moment we received the news that a major tsunami roared onto the shores of South India.

Ten days earlier, in a frantic but familiar Indian accent, the news came to us through the phone like headlines.

“Thousands feared dead. Seaside villages wiped out.”

I bolted upright.

My husband of two years put his hand over the receiver. “It’s Decruz. Turn on the news. Something terrible has happened back home.”

I grabbed the remote off the nightstand, then checked the clock. We had collapsed in bed only an hour earlier, exhausted after the busy Christmas season ended with the last Mass at a nursing home, followed by Holy Communion offered to a homebound member.

At the same time—given a twelve-hour time zone difference, making it Christmas Day evening—those in India were waking up to a catastrophic nightmare.

TV headlines matched my brother-in-law’s report. An earthquake in the early hours of the morning, near the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, caused a tsunami that had slammed the southern peninsular coast of India on Sunday morning.

Due to no warning system, many were feared dead.

Some of my husband’s family lived in Bangalore, Karnataka; others lived in a Tamil Nadu hill station. Neither locale was coastal. Our relatives were safe. Thank God. We said good-bye to Decruz and planted ourselves before the TV.

Just a few years earlier, my husband had lived and served as a Catholic priest to schools and orphanages in the affected coastal region. His shoulders slumped with each rising death count. Fellow clergy, friends, and children he’d cared for likely would have been among the casualties.

The next day, a local Northwest Arkansas newspaper reporter phoned. “Father Leo, is your family okay?”

A few hours later, in the reporter’s office, my husband shared his knowledge of the tsunami-affected area in South India. “Houses made of mud walls and thatched coconut leaf roofs would be decimated.

“Men would have been out fishing. Wives would be waiting for their husbands’ return to take the fish to market. Children would have been sleeping or playing along the seashore.” He lowered his head. “So many would have been caught unawares.”

“How would you help the victims?”

I think the reporter meant, how would a person help? In general or hypothetically—like, how would you like to help? But my husband accepted the question as a challenge. He leaned forward.

“We will begin a fundraiser.” He patted my knee. “We will go to any length, do whatever it takes to raise money, then we will go to India and personally take money to those most affected.”

*****

TEN days later, trekking into impassable villages and decimated shorelines, my husband devised an amazing plan to help widows and orphans and those most affected by the tsunami. TEN years later, we returned to the same villages and encountered surprising changes and a life-threatening situation.

Sign up here and I will gift you a FREE Kindle e-copy of Tsunami 2004. To purchase a print version of TSUNAMI 2004 for $6.99 click here.

Thanks!!

Monsters Under The Bed – Facing Your Writing Fears

Holly Michael:

My post on Writing Prompts…facing writing fears and what happens when your characters are based on family members.

Originally posted on Writing Prompts &Thoughts & Ideas...Oh My!:

by Holly Michael

Hit the light switch. Quick! Run! Dive into bed. Not safe yet! Tuck in your appendages. Whatever didn’t catch you hides under the bed and eats toes and fingers. Oh no! Closet door is open. Close your eyes!

file0001039632218 courtesy of morgue file

Does that scene prompt a childhood memory? Or was that only my childhood bedtime ritual? Confession: I was still in my teens the last time I hotfooted in fear across those creaky wooden floors in our old Wisconsin farmhouse.

Grown up now–or trying to be–at bedtime I hit the light switch and tip-toe cautiously in fear of what hides under the bed–dust bunnies that might induce a sneezing fit or…gasp…need to be vacuumed up.

Photo by Holly Michael, her children. Photo by Holly Michael, her children.

Fear. Do we ever outgrow it?

Writing is scary. Fears cripple writers. What can we do? The only way to get over fears is to face them. Let’s take a…

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My Amazing Connection to Author Jan Pierce: What I Wish all Parents Knew

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Alone in a foreign country, with my husband in a third world ICU suffering multiple organ failure, God summoned his angels. They are the Pierces: Jan and Roger.

Homegrown Readers coverToday, Jan Pierce is a guest on my blog. She will share her secrets about inspiring children to love to read. Jan is a retired teacher and freelance writer who specializes in writing about education, parenting and family life topics. She is the author of the newly-released book, Homegrown Readers: Simple Ways to Help Your Child Learn to Read

Last November, when my husband contracted dengue fever from a mosquito bite, I’d only known Jan vaguely as an author friend on Facebook. During our crisis in India, my only means of communication was via a hospital computer. I got on Facebook and asked for prayers.

Jan Pierce saw my message. Her husband Roger was in India, in Bengaluru, where we were. Deciphering my sporadic messages, the couple discovered our location.

A few days later, Roger stepped into the hospital room. With happy tears upon seeing my husband alive and well, he told us that God had prompted him to pray with fervency. He’d spent countless hours interceding before the Lord for us. Roger had never met us before, but we all held hands and prayed in that hospital room, so far from home. We were all overwhelmed at this amazing connection…

Because of God…

Because of prayers…

Because of…yes, Facebook…

…my husband recovered and I am able to introduce Jan Pierce to you, a wonderful talented compassionate author with a heart for India and a heart for helping kids learn to read.

I’m handing over my blog to Jan. And what’s really cool about her post today is that today March 5th, is UNESCO’s World Book Day. A celebration that encourages children to read. To celebrate, Here’s JAN!!!!!

Thanks, Holly. God is amazing and I am grateful for your husband’s recovery and for your welcoming me here today to talk about What I Wish All Parents Knew…

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Today’s busy families are hard pressed to give their children everything they need. Schedules are packed. Kids join soccer and T-ball teams. Families enjoy the outdoors together camping and hiking. Parents take time to teach their children basic kindness and manners, but they often wait to get into that book learning, the reading and writing stuff, until their children enter school.

But here’s the thing. Reading is really important. Virtually all learning takes place through the written word. Children who haven’t been read to, who haven’t listened to fairy tales, poems, tales of curious monkeys and books about real animals, kids who aren’t familiar with books and what’s inside them–these kids are at a disadvantage when they go to school.

The solution is simple. Read to your children. Even if you had unhappy experiences in your own learning to read years, the price of entering school without lots of experience with books is too high. Kids soon learn that the other children know what’s going on. They don’t. They’ve just begun their school career and already feel like a failure.

Reading aloud to children is, ideally, a wonderful thing. It can be the ritual before naps and bedtimes. It can be what the family does on Saturday mornings while they eat their pancakes. Sharing favorite stories should be a positive experience for the whole family. If that isn’t the case, something needs to change. If reading isn’t enjoyable to you as the parent, suck it up and do it anyway. (You’ll change your mind.)

Regular read aloud times should be part of the family schedule. Let children choose some of the titles. Read a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and don’t forget that maps, comic books, the Sunday comic strips and even instruction manuals are all reading materials. It’s never too late to start because it’s just that important to success in school.

When your children enter kindergarten let them be the kids who have heard at least five hundred stories. Let them be the ones who understand that stories have characters and settings and plots. Let them know which way is up on a page and that writing goes from left to right. Teach them to love books and reading. Your reward? A happy, successful reader.

Holly: Thanks for that message Jan, could you share a little more about your background.

Sure, I’m a wife, mother and grandma to three terrific grandsons. I retired eight years ago from a long career in education. I taught all grades from kindergarten through fourth grade, but mainly taught first and second grade, so I had ample time to teach children to read. I earned a reading endorsement when I got my Master’s degree because I wanted to understand more about the nuts and bolts of reading. I spent the last two years of my career as a reading specialist.

When I retired, I determined to stay active and soon realized I had two new “jobs.” One involves Teams India, the NGO my husband and I founded to do missions work in India. The second is I became a freelance writer. I’d never published a thing before 2007, but soon found that I love the challenge and everything related to the writer’s life.

And getting involved in the writing life is what brought Jan and I together on Facebook. Isn’t this an amazing connection? And my blog is all about connections.

Holly: Before you go, Jan. I really want to stress the benefits a parent will get from reading your book? Can you tell us how it will help parents and their children?

Sure. Any parent who wants their child to gain reading skills in English will benefit from the information in this book. It’s important that parents understand English is not a highly phonetic language and because of that children need more than phonics to read well. They need to use thinking strategies to find the meaning in a text. If they read the words perfectly, but don’t understand the meaning, they haven’t really read. All the strategies they need to solve reading problems are found in Homegrown Readers.Homegrown Readers cover

And below are links to Jan’s site and to purchase her book: Homegrown Readers: Simple Ways to Help Your Child Learn to Read

CONNECT WITH JAN: Website: www.janpierce.net and www.onehandfulofrice.org / Facebook author page / Jan’s Amazon author page / Linked In / Pinterest

Amazon.com to buy Jan’s Book /  To purchase Jan’s Book from Barnes and Noble

Beautiful beach and seaHolly: If you’d like to hear more about our drama-filled visit to Tsunami-devastated Nagapattinam in our “then and now” book, Tsunami 2004 – Still Wading Through Waves of Hope, click here. The nonfiction book takes a look back at our visit ten years ago and our return trip this last November and the challenges and surprises we encountered. It also chronicles the lives of several orphans.

But, first, I urge you, parents, teachers, aunts, uncles grab Jan’s book from the links above. It’s a must for any one who cares about helping a child they love learn to read!

Type Won with Type One

Originally posted on Type Won:

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Launch day for http://www.typewon.net!

Why Type Won? By never accepting limitations, I pushed forward toward goals that included becoming a tight-end for the University of Wisconsin and also playing in the NFL. Ultimately, my goal is to live a healthy life with type 1 diabetes. My desire is to help others accept, control, and compete with type one diabetes.

I was diagnosed at age 14 with type 1, but was determined not to let diabetes win. Embracing a positive attitude and not letting diabetes beat me, I gained an edge in managing this disease and in competing in sports.

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Type 1 diabetes is completely different disease than type 2 diabetes. Type One diabetes strikes at any time, and especially children and young adults, (though it can develop at any age).

Type One diabetes is autoimmune disease, that strikes when the body’s immune system declares war on itself, mistakenly reacting to the insulin-producing…

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Choices? Choose the Empowering Way!

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Win a copy of this excellent book on www.indiascrown.com.

chancetochoose-300x253Great interview by Kim Galgano. India’s Crown is a website Caryl McAdoo and I developed to connect Christian Authors with Christian readers in India. We have a Facebook page, too. We are growing with a good number of followers here in the US, and in India and other countries, too. Check out the blog and Facebook page. And if you are a Christian Author, contact us about getting the news about your book to readers in India.

Choices? Choose the Empowering Way!.

Christian Fiction Friday

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christian-fiction-friday-banner-e1423219106167Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current works in progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. See below for a full list of rules and suggestions. This week, I’m joining in the fun!

Here’s my snippet from True Paths (Sequel to Crooked Lines) …from the beginning of Chapter 2:

Swirls of distant smoke, like incense, sent the dead up to God. On the outskirts of the remote Nagapattinam fishing village, Rebecca leaned against the Jeep. Two weeks after the tsunami and piles of burning bodies still smoldered. Her heart sunk thinking about the thousands who lost their lives and the pain of their survivors. India had captured her heart since she was a child, but this wasn’t the India she’d imagined.

Her gaze fell from the sky above the thatched roofs to the activity across the sandy road.

Kumari, a beautiful woman dressed in a saffron and red salwaar kameez, stood near a shirtless, dark-skinned man. He raised his machete then sliced it sideways with a swift whooshack. Kumari accepted the scalped coconuts from the man. She stepped around a cow then approached a tall man corralling Indian youth workers onto a small, blue bus with “Praise the Lord” painted across the top of the windshield.

As soon as all were loaded, the Lord Jesus bus would follow Father Michael’s Lord Ganesha Jeep back to the orphanage. So far, every Indian vehicle Rebecca stepped in had hailed its religious affiliation—from auto rickshaws with rosaries dangling from rearview mirrors, to tiny fat Buddhas tucked in the corner of the windshields, to dashboard displays of blue, multi-armed, and elephant-faced beings.

Hints of spices and frying oil drifted from the tiny teashop across the road, where the coconut vendor had parked his cart. India poured out intoxicating mixtures of sights, smells, and sounds and in spite of the tragedy, Rebecca drank it all in.

The sun dipped below the top of coconut trees. In a few hours, in White Gull Bay, morning rays would slice through the bare maple tree outside the Wisconsin farmhouse window where her ten-year-old daughter slept, the same bedroom Rebecca once shared with her sister, and dreamt of India.

Kumari finished her conversation with the man, then crossed the ragged strip of a road toward Rebecca. 

TRUE PATHS is the sequel to CROOKED LINES, an Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Inspirational Fiction. Here’s the beginning of the first chapter of Crooked Lines:

bookChapter One – Rebecca Meyer, White Gull Bay, Wisconsin, Summer 1985

It didn’t occur to me at the edge of the pond that I’d broken the sixth commandment, actually committed murder. I was busy working out a deal with God, swearing to Jesus I’d become a nun if He helped me breathe life back into my baby sister’s limp body. At the time, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t Catholic.

Now, a week after the funeral, Mama set me straight while flipping pancakes in the kitchen. “Daddy blames you for Kara’s death.” She said it like I’d let the milk spoil because I hadn’t put it back in the fridge, but the weight of her words cemented my bare feet to the green linoleum.

She reached for a platter and set it under the open window. The morning sun highlighted old stains, batter spills, and cracks on the brown laminate countertop. A cool morning draft rustled the faded yellow gingham curtains. Mama got a deal on that material from Woolworths before Kara was born. Along with curtains, she sewed four sundresses for each of my sisters and me. It wasn’t fair that the fabric was still with us, fluttering over the sink, yet Kara came and went as quickly as the wind.

Mama transferred pancakes to the plate.

My plan to breeze through the kitchen and escape the house unnoticed should have succeeded because for a week, I’d been a ghost. None of the people in the house—my parents or any of my brothers and sisters—spoke to me. I’d lived a cloistered existence with my blue notebook and unsettling thoughts.

Now, I only wanted to sit under the maple, read the Kara stories, and wind back time.

I tightened my arms around the notebook, holding it to my heart like a talisman, as if my words of love for my sister could erase the raw sting of truth in Mama’s words. Since that day at the pond, I’d been carrying that notebook everywhere, even sleeping with it. In my lake of sadness, in my whirling murky thoughts, those sacred pages had become my life preserver.

Mama snapped the griddle nob off and faced me. “We left her with you that morning. She was only seven.” Her words rushed out in a seething whisper. My shoulders fell and hope slid from them and disappeared out the kitchen window.

Only a month ago in my white cotton confirmation dress, I citied the Ten Commandments and professed my faith at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.

So confident. So holy. Mama baked a cake.

Now, because of me, Kara was dead. I tugged a loose string on the frayed edges of my cut-offs, then looked back up at Mama. Her short blonde hair was a tangled mess. Her red-streaked eyes shot angry darts laced with sadness. C’mon Mama. Don’t you get it? The deep muddy waters consumed Kara. She’s gone, but I’m here, still drowning. …

To purchase CROOOKED LINES

All Books   –   Holly’s Amazon Author Page

Website     –  www.hollymichael.com

Newsletter – http://eepurl.com/5vTLP 

Reviewer?   – Christian-evaluaters

                                     (Join Our Street Team!)

Facebook    –     https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHollyMichael

Writers, want to join the fiction fun? Hop over to Hallee’s Blog! Click here for a full list of rules and suggestions.

Looking Back…Looking Forward – Amazing Life

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Hi Friends,

If you visited my blog about two years ago, you might have read the post about my son Jake, a type one diabetic entering into the NFL draft. At the same time, I was working toward my dream of becoming a novelist. (NFL Aspirations and novelists dreams: Follow the Fairytales as they come true.)

I’m reposting the text of the blog below and then giving an update because I’m simply amazed at how you can make life plans…then hope, dream, and pray, and then look back and smile, knowing that even if everything didn’t go exactly as planned, it went the way it was supposed to go. Life is amazing!

Here’s the blog post, then below that, an update and reflection:

I don’t remember the dream, only the worried face that popped into it. Jake. My four-year-old. Why was his face in my dream? Minutes later, a tap on my shoulder woke me.

“Had a bad dream, Mom,” Jake said.

I lifted the covers, pulled Jake close, and kissed the top of his head, amazed at this strange connection that allowed my son’s fears to travel from his dreams into mine.

Mom’s have connections like that with their children. Sometimes a prickle of worry regarding one of my kids will flash in my mind like a sudden rainstorm pocking up a calm lake. I stop, drop, and pray. Most times, I discover those feelings were on the mark, and my child needed prayers in that moment.

photoaJake had dreams of becoming an NFL player. What little boy doesn’t? Then as a sophomore in high school, he was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Jake refused to accept it as an obstacle. He wanted to play football on a college scholarship. He pushed himself hard: extra workouts, more discipline, never missing a practice. Jake gave his diabetes and his football dreams to God.

“Maybe God want’s me to have diabetes for a greater purpose,” Jake often expressed.

For the last last four years I’ve watched Jake start as a tight end for the Wisconsin Badgers. (Jake Byrne #82) Now, Jake has an agent and a good shot at the NFL.

Like my son, I proclaimed lofty dreams when I was a child. I wanted to be a novelist. I held onto that goal, learning and improving my writing skills in spite of rejection letters and self-doubt obstacles along my path toward publication. Now, an agent is reading my novel.

Jake and I aren’t sitting back, biting our nails as we wait for our dreams to happen. I’m working on my second book, blogging, and preparing to become a novelist. Jake’s preparing for the NFL draft.

If a boy with type I diabetes can work hard and become an NFL player, then his mom can be a novelist. Lofty goals? Fairytales? NFL player and Novelist. Sometimes we just know what we want and with God’s blessing, hard work, a little God-given talent, and support from others, it can happen.

Mother and child connections. Funny we’re both, at the same time, standing at the cusp of our dreams becoming reality, ready to wake up and be the people we were meant to be.

AND NOW, two years later, here are the updates:

20130925-153506.jpgJake: Type 1 diabetic since the age of fourteen, has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. After playing four years for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, he went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger. And he got engaged at Christmas to a lovely, wonderful girl. I welcome Emma Erickson into the family with a great big hug and lots of love!

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Jake is moving forward with new goals and plans: Marriage plans and starting a foundation TYPE WON to help and encourage diabetic youth. He just moved to Dallas and is starting a new job with a PR/Marketing Firm.

hollyHolly: Indie published one novel, Crooked Lines, and have two more to be released this year. Also, after following up from a mission trip after the 2004 Tsunami, indie published a non-fiction book: Tsunami 2004: Still Wading through Waves of Hope.

As a hybrid author-traditional and indie published, I now write write fiction and nonfiction, on a slightly different path than I imagined two years ago. But loving my writing life (fiction and nonfiction) and looking forward to my 2015 book releases and 2016, too!

photo (79)Together: Our “mother-son connections” have brought us a book contract with Harvest House Publishers, due for a release date Early August: First and Goal – What football taught me about never giving up. We are so excited about this devotional and very grateful to Kim Moore, Senior Editor, who had faith in this project and who has been a joy to work with.

The rest of the family is doing great. My husband, Bishop Leo Michael, continues his work as an anglican pastor/bishop. (St. James Anglican Church, Kansas City)

Youngest son, Nick, plays football for the Ragin’ Cajuns at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. (Jake, above, supporting his team and wearing one of his shirts – holding our book contact).

1908477_10203058282048200_7841013063728876238_nAnd daughter Betsy is studying for her Masters and working as a teaching assistant at the University of Louisiana – Lafayette.  All three cuties to the left. Ahh…as a mom, I love that these three are best friends.

Reflection: Looking back, I’m amazed at how far we all have come since that post, two years ago. There have been rough moments. Ups and downs. Times when we didn’t know what was next. Jake was cut and picked up, again and again…even brought back to the same team again. I’ve had my own moments of doubt and worry. But, through our moments of uncertainty, we commit our plans to the Lord. Looking back, we can see God’s Hand has been in our lives in amazing ways. He is good. He is faithful. Always.

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During moments of doubt and insecurity, pray. Ask the Creator to show us the way. We are His creation and He knows us best and what is best for us.

Looking back or forward, Psalms 31 says it all:

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.

Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.

Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.

Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

Who wouldn’t want to be led by a Greater Power, the Creator and Source of Life and Love. Looking forward, here’s some advice from Psalms 37:4-6:

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

Simple but profound bit of wisdom. We can never go wrong by committing our life and plans to God.

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Psalms 16:3

I may not blog too much in the next few months as I’m in the middle of several writing projects, including a few non-fiction book proposals and finishing three novels…committing it all to the LORD. Will see where He leads us all next. I’m not sure of anything, but only that life is an amazing and wonderful ride with Jesus at the wheel.

Would love if you’d click over and “like” Jake’s TYPE WON Facebook page. While there, would you please subscribe to his mailing list by clicking on the “subscribe” link.

Thanks a bunch!

Looking back, how has your life changed in the last two years? Hopefully, even through the rough times, you’ve moved forward on the path toward your plans, hopes, and dreams. Hopefully, you’ve seen the hand of God in your life. Need direction? Got worries? Let me know. I’d be happy to pray for you.

10999505_10155288525850635_6476870574761653437_nOh, and one more bit of news from me. My novel, CROOKED LINES, is on sale for .99 CENTS this week.

 

 

The Devil Marked Him for Death…

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I haven’t yet blogged in detail about that one heart-wrenching experience during our return trip to the 2004 tsunami-ravaged villages in Nagapattinam, South India.

My husband and I encountered many difficult situations and joyous ones too, but I’m writing today about the one that still nearly buckles my knees when I continue to hear statements like…

“The devil marked him for death.”

Or when a doctor friend recently said, “It is a true miracle the he survived a multi-organ failure.”

Or the heart tugging statements, said in several different ways:

“I prayed fervently.”

“I shed so many tears.”

“The spirit led me to pray deeply, like I’d never prayed before.”

(statements by even those I hardly know)

It gives me goosebumps, even now, almost three months later, when I think about what happened…in the spiritual sense of it all.

So…going back to late November 2014

…after my husband got bit by an affected mosquito.

…after we finished our mission work in Nagapattinam (my husband growing weak and feverish toward the end.)

…after we rode a bus for 12 hours from the remote villages in Nagapattinam with my beloved nearly lethargic from a spiked fever.

…after we arrived in a Bangalore hospital, my husband dehydrated with 103 fever.

…after the diagnosis of Dengue Fever (my sister-in-law died from dengue fever two years earlier).

…after we were left alone in a room with very little care.

…after I continued my attempts to communicate with the hospital staff that I didn’t think it was normal that my husband had swung from extremely feverish to unresponsive and almost completely cold (and they insisted he was fine).

…after the admitting Hindu doctor woke up in the middle of the night from a dream worried about my husband (one of maybe 200 patients she’d admitted that day) and called the ICU doctor to check on him.

…after he was rushed to the ICU blood pressure dropping and multi-organ failure.

…after I was stopped at the double doors to the ICU by a guard.

….after I sat in the empty hospital room in South India, alone, unable to communicate properly with hospital staff and no phone or means of communicating with anyone but God.

….after I’d finally got onto a hospital computer and asked for prayers through Facebook.

Which leads me to what I believe…

I BELEIVE….

…the heavenly realm, which is all around us always, was busy that night.

…the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of many to pray fervently after hearing my plea on Facebook (as many have testified).

…the Devil had slated my husband (a Bishop in the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite) for death.

…the prayers of the saints and all of the faithful allow me now to praise God for his full healing.

…Facebook is awesome and faithful friends and family are amazing. (I love you all).

…God is great, all the time, always!

I chronicled this experience and so much more from our trip to South India in my book, TSUNAMI 2004 – Still Wading through Waves of Hope. I share about the people and villages we visited and those we helped after the  2004 Tsunami, and the experiences upon our return, ten years later.

Ten years ago, after a major fundraiser, we went to the most devastated impassable villages in South India. My husband had a fabulous idea of asking the village headmen (hubby speaks the native language) to bring the orphans to the local bank. We established Bank CD’s in their names, so that ten years later, they would have funds to begin their lives–marriage, college.

Given the arranging of marriages and that the value of women is based on their dowry, the idea paid off literally in dividends.

I share these “then and now” stories and our experience in greater detail in TSUNAMI 2004 – Still Wading Through Waves of Hope. A percentage of the proceeds from the sales will go to support our continuing mission work in India. 

Some of our “then and now” pictures (the book also has more picture)

2004 Nagapattinam Harbor

2004 Nagapattinam Harbor

harbor now

harbor now

Nambiar Nagar boatmen discouraged, not wanting to go back to the sea. Boats are all destroyed

We had given funds to a man who owned a boat repair business. He put 50 people to work after the tsunami. Above, then...and now.

We had given funds to the man above on the left of my husband (in the blue shirt/khakis). The man owned a boat repair business, decimated by the tsunami. With funds we gave, he put 50 people to work after the tsunami. Some, (above in boat), after losing loved ones to the sea, did not want to go out and fish again.

Two friends (orphans) we'd helped then, and below now...

Two friends (orphans) we’d helped then, and below now…

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Some then photos….IMG_0975FH000002Long lines in Nambiar Nagar for foodIMG_0832Some now photos…

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Awestruck Sabeen looking at her picture thenIMG_0615IMG_0203IMG_0580

Below, some of the orphans we helped then…Tsunami orphans 2004 who received CD Bank Accounts for approx. $230.And some now…
Tsunami orphans now

My deepest heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped with fundraising then and all of those who prayed for my husband and to those who also support my writing. Because of you all, we can continue to do the good works that the Lord has prepared for us to do and to go wherever and to whomever He leads us. 

*Special thanks to Roger Pierce, the husband of a Facebook friend, who happened to be in Bangalore, had been praying for my husband, and showed up at the hospital later and prayed with us. 

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To purchase Tsunami 2004 – Still Wading Through Waves of Hope (nonfiction)

Beautiful beach and sea

and

Crooked Lines (fiction), based on some tsunami experiences. (on sale for .99 Cents now)

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